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Gear Review: Sorel Boots... and we're not even sorel that we spent this much!

Updated: Mar 22, 2019

Snow outside! It must be time for a blog post about boots! Actually I bought these mighty pieces of footwear for myself and Xani just before Christmas and to be honest most folk I know are kitted out in appropriate footwear already by now. However one thing I alway have in mind to do, and never actually manage due to a lack of money and organisation, is buy my winter boots in the summer when they will be a damn sight cheaper. So perhaps this blog post will help folk who are better organised, if not richer than we are, and who will log on to any outlets selling Sorel boots around about June.

Ahhhhh....Sorel! Filled as I am with warmth from the soles of my feet from these Bad Boyz, I can't believe there was ever a time when I wasn't a Sorel aficionado. But it's true that before November I'd never even heard of the company. It began because I was looking for boots for Small Person, and his dad had bought a pair of these the previous month and mentioned how good they were. However, my usual way of purchasing products for my kids is to google some key words; in this case "freezing fucking cold", "Scotland", "waterproof" and "cheap" would have been the criteria but, hell, that would not have led me to these, as cheap they aint!

So I bought a pair for Xani. Looking back on my orders now I see I actually paid £43 for them and to be honest I'm surprised, as I'd like to think I wasn't the kind of parent who forked out that kind of dosh for something that a kiddie might outgrow in a short space of time. In my defence I think it coincided with me signing him up for the outdoor nursery at Woodlands and I must have been wracked with guilt at the thought of him being outdoors all day.

But they are worth every penny, and the best evidence of that is that I went back online and bought a pair for myself, and to hell with the cost!

In their own words:

Founded in 1962 in Canada, SOREL brings its functionality and heritage of expert craftsmanship to the modern world of fashion, where it is inspiring a new generation of doers, builders, and creators. And though SOREL makes more than just boots, there’s a boot in everything SOREL makes. SOREL combines felt, wool, premium leather, and flawless construction with people who aren’t afraid to get their boots dirty.

In my words, they absolutely rock: warm, waterproof and - if you care once your feet are toasty - they look awesome too.

Here is the technical spec from their website:

Warm and protective in all conditions. A built-in gaiter, adjustable Velcro instep strap, and multi-directional lug sole make this boot super secure while the water resistant shell and removable felt liner ensure that feet stay snug and comfy during winter play.
Best For: Heavy Snow
UPPER: Durable water and wind resistant PU backed synthetic textile upper. Built in gaiter with barrel lock closure system and fixed elastic instep strap.INSULATION: Removable 6 mm washable recycled felt inner boot.MIDSOLE: 2.5 mm bonded felt frost plug.OUTSOLE: Injection molded waterproof thermal rubber shell with multi-directional lug outsole for enhanced traction. SOREL rated: -25° Fahrenheit / -32° Celsius.Shaft Height: 7 in.Heel Height: 1 4/7 in.Platform Height: 2/5 in.Weight: 17 oz / 482 g.

They have an inner "sock" made of felt which is removable and washable. I think part of the marketing is that you can remove this lining and still wear the boot, but that is a load of bollocks as it's so thick that the boot would be far too big without it. They claim to have "a built-in gaiter" too....I'm not sure that this means anything other than there is a layer between your foot and the world outside, ie the boot. But the velcro fastening provides for a snug fit and despite them only describing themselves as "water resistant", my toddler who has waded into ankle deep puddles with them on would hazard to claim they are waterproof. The picture below shows them slightly muddy.....I probably should have taken a snap before they were worn but perhaps the photo just shows how much we love and use them. He literally wears them every day. And his feet never come out of them wet or cold. (We went a shoe size up so we can double-layer socks.)

Ours were from the Evil Empire Amazon; they were the cheapest. Let me know if you find them below £43.

As I mentioned before, I was so impressed with Xani's boots that I bought a pair for myself. They cost £@@@....ahem...cough...splutter...I'm sorry, did you not hear me? Was I mumbling?....mine cost a bit more than his (again purchased from Evil Bezos' Love Harem: you can find mine here ) but unlike the boy, I plan on not growing in the foreseeable future. The adult versions come with laces rather than velcro, but other than that the same things are true for mine as for Xani's: they're an excellent fit, they're extremely warm and they look totally badass.

From the website:

Often imitated but never equaled, the original Sorel boot features waterproof construction, seam-sealing and a removable ThermoPlus™ felt inner boot for warmth, comfort and protection in cold and wet winter weather. Best For: Heavy Snow UPPER: Waterproof nubuck leather upper. Seam sealed waterproof construction.INSULATION: Removable 9mm washable recycled felt inner boot with Sherpa Pile snow cuff.MIDSOLE: 2.5 mm bonded felt frost plug.OUTSOLE: Handcrafted waterproof vulcanized rubber shell with Sorel aero-trac non loading outsole. SOREL rated: -40° Fahrenheit / -40° CelsiusShaft Height: 8 1/2 in.Heel Height: 1 1/6 in.Platform Height: 5/7 in.

Here are mine in grey (aka "shale"):

And here are Mr Smith's in "tusk"....which as a color word really tickles me! I'm not sure what animal has tusks that colour...wild boar perhaps?

They are not the kind of boot that you could wear on a hillwalk, as first-off you can't fit a crampon to them and secondly Graeme says that for munro walkers they wouldn't give the right level of ankle support But for any kind of winter walk on the flat, these have really been worth every penny (and there were a lot of pennies involved...)

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